Tag Archive | attitude

Do you have a happiness setpoint?


I read some information today on a coaching website I’m a member of that really shifted my thinking. So often it seems people have a happiness set-point. You know what I mean – they have predictable patterns of happiness throughout their life…  Here’s a few examples:

panic1) The “Down & Out” crowd – Life’s troubles seem to follow them around no matter where they go. One crisis is overcome or averted and the next one is right around the corner. They live their lives in constant panic and stir up panic and drama for others as well. You might describe these folks as the ones being led around by the tail. They aren’t in control of their circumstances and don’t appear to be in control of their happiness.

grumpy2) The “Bah-humbugs” – These folks are hard to please, rarely smile, and life appears to be a bit of a nuisance. The glass is almost always half-empty or down-right bone dry.  These folks tend to have a pessimistic viewpoint on life and definitely bring people around them down. Complaining is their favorite thing to do. They scowl, and really don’t enjoy being around anyone or anything that seems to bring out much joy.

download (1)3) The Middle-of-the-Roaders – Lots of folks find themselves in this place – not much excites them or truly upsets them. Oh sure, they have the big moments – a wedding or a birth that is happy but their emotions don’t seem to match or if they do, it’s kind of brief . Nothing seems to be terribly noteworthy. Life is full of routine. Even their celebrations are routine. Problems are mostly manageable and life is flat, as is their energy level.

Manic-Depression

4) The Ping-Pongers – Whew, this crowd can wear you out from bouncing around to every emotion – really high to really low. I’m not talking about the clinically bipolar – these are folks that just seem to be whipped around by extremes. Wow their enthusiasm is contagious when life is good. But the lows can bounce them around at whiplash speed. Their energy is highly unpredictable and it might be hard to keep up with which kind of day it’s going to be. Heck, it might be 5 different kinds of day all wrapped into one. As a matter of fact, their happiness set-point appears to be stuck on spinning.

happy5) The Happy-Go-Lucky – These folks seem to have figured out how to be happy most of the time. They tend to be optimistic, seeking the silver lining whenever possible. It’s not that life doesn’t have it’s challenges, they just have found a way to stay happy in spite of it all. They find something to be joyful about in every day. They can draw you in and it just feels good to be around them.

Did you see yourself in any of these descriptions? While you might find you aren’t exactly like any of them 100% of the time, there definitely seems to be trends in life. It shows up in our outlooks, demeanor, and energy. It appears that perhaps people really do have a happiness set-point, like a magnet it pulls them back time and time again to the same spot.

BUT … what if it’s only how you think about the concept of happiness. If a person no longer thinks about happiness as a destination – it’s not the place you’ll end up, but it’s the mode of transportation no matter where you go. It can be a choice in attitude. What if you considered … are you WILLING to be happy consistently? It would take a bit of pondering to look at your habits, your beliefs – both those that serve and those that limit. What if happiness isn’t what happens to your life, but who you are as you are living your life. Isn’t life way more fun when we choose how to live it?

What if  …

Consider who you are being on this happy trail of life. Be happy, and be blessed!

Think on these things …


Today I find myself in one of “those” moods. You know – when emotions are kind of prickly. People can easily say the wrong thing or with the wrong attitude. The weather is lovely but it’s so easy to be lazy and sluggish inside. TV is boring, books have no appeal, and … YIKES! Stop the madness and the merry-go-round of negativity!!! I need to turn the day around. It’s days just like today when I turn to this Bible verse for instruction:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,

 whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,

think on these things.” Phil 4:8

So, let me change my day by thinking on the good things and by counting my blessings:

1) I am alive and my health is good.

2) My home is warm and comfortable.

3) My children are healthy, educated, and gainfully employed.

4) My job allows me to use my skills and passions and pays me well to do so.

5) My bills are paid and I have some money left over for things I enjoy.

6) I have a loving pet who keeps me company, no matter what my mood is.

7) My family and I have been spared from the devastation of the tornadoes that destroyed so much in my area recently.

8) I have precious friends who are kind, generous, and loyal.

9) There’s food in my pantry and clean clothes in my closet.

10) I have dreams and goals that keep me motivated.

11) I have a car, it works and has gas so I can pick up and go whenever I want.

12) I own lovely things that make my surroundings inviting.

13) I am loved by many, but most importantly, and unconditionally, by God.

With that baker’s dozen of blessings I can actually feel a shift in my mood. My life is good and I have much to be happy about. I spread the gratitude to you. Be thankful and be blessed!

How do I do that?


You hear a lot these days about living with purpose, following your passion, and creating the life of your dreams. All wonderfully enlightened and lofty phrases. Maybe – but they are also very achievable. Usually though, I quickly hear those statements followed by outcries of “What does that mean?” or “How do I do that?” The pull between desire and lack of practical understanding is creating the struggle.

I don’t have “THE” answer but I can share what I’ve learned on my journey. Primarily, I’ve learned that living with purpose is all-encompassing. It’s not just the big achievements and life-changing things. It’s being purposeful about our attitude, our gratitude and our habits. Start there. And when it is about achievements, I have learned 3 simple, practical steps:

1) CHOOSE – I truly believe that what draws us, attracts us, or what we dream of are all messages from our unconscious mind about the path we should be walking. It makes sense really – I won’t gloriously create that which I don’t find alluring. I know some people find themselves paralyzed into inaction because they are waiting for God to direct them. Ummmm – I think our intuition and desires are that very direction. But that’s just me. So, that’s where I start … what do I feel tugging on my heart? There are some things that are consistent themes throughout my life (connecting with people). And there are others that suddenly appear with great appeal or urging (writing my books). Actually, it was a sudden urge that loosed creativity upon me in my late 20’s and it hasn’t subsided yet. Whenever I feel the tug, I examine it and ultimately, I choose it.
2) DISCOVER – This is the trickier part for me because I find that I am drawn to, and subsequently choose, things that I have no knowledge about or previous exposure to. It figures! And I find myself saying “What the heck do I do with this desire?” And my follow-up response is always the same – research. We are blessed to be in the age of connection and information. At our fingertips, day and night we can search for what, when, where, and how of just about anything. So if the spirit moves me at 3 am when I can’t sleep I can actually do something about it. If I ask enough friends, someone will know something or someone who can help me move to the next level of understanding. The discovery phase can take a while but it’s part of the fun, really. I feel lucky and blessed in this way.
3) ACT – Ah, now we get into the “dangerous” part of truly living with passion!  I have found this to get a little less scary as I practice it, but it’s still a process. You see, if I act, then people will know what I’m up to. Someone might judge me or my worthiness, ability, or skill. While discovery takes curiosity, action takes valor. I’ve had to muster up the courage to call an acquaintance that I didn’t know well, or the friend of a friend of a friend, or email someone I found on the web. None of it was comfortable but all of it was in line with my choice. If I was going to be able to move forward, I had to connect.

That’s it. Nothing spectacularly secretive about my 3 steps or my methods. It doesn’t require me to buy a book, take a class, or learn at the feet of a master. But these steps have worked for me. Do I do everything with passion – no, certainly not. Do I live with purpose, yes, I do. Am I creating the life of my dreams and following my passions – indeed. And I am, in this middle stage of life, finding that the more I follow this path, the more I am surrounded by others who are in support of me. As my friend Martha often says, “The universe cooperates with a made-up mind.” And so it does. I am more grounded, comfortable in my skin, and more motivated to do even more.

If you are struggling with your desire to move forward in life with purpose, passion, or to create your desired life, I invite you to choose, discover, and act as well. And be blessed!

Until Now!


I had a wonderful conversation this weekend that really made me stop and pause. I’m still taking it all in actually but the 2 words she gave me are tiny in “stature” but huge in significance. “Until Now!”

Do you see the power in this? No matter what my complaints about my life, my body, my self esteem, my troubles, my …. whatever, can all be punctuated with the words, “until now”. Until now, that was my story, or that was my reality. Until now I had limits (mostly self-imposed). Until now I struggled. Until now I didn’t see the big picture. Until now.

With that ending of the sentence, I can begin a new way. Now, and going forward I can envision and declare a new way to be and feel and act and react. I am forever grateful for the positive, loving permission to change that “until now” affords me. Thank you Cynthia Segal. Your words and wisdom are powerful and empowering.

“Until now” is changing my life! Will you allow it to change yours too?

Be blessed!